Bub’s Grandpa, A War Hero, Gets WWII Awards
So you hear me talking about Bub on the radio all the time, he's my husband, and his real name is Graig ERNEST Chapman. He was named after his grandfather, U.S. Army Technician 4th Grade Sergeant Ernest Weller. Who we all call Ernie.
I've known Ernie for a long time, but I had no idea how influential he was during World War II. His service during that time took him to the shores of Normandy and across Europe. His Battalion played an important role in ending the war.
During a ceremony last week at War Veterans Park in Olean, which is near our hometown. Mr. Pascal Soares, Honorary French Consul of New York, and Senator Catharine Young presented France’s National Order of the Legion of Honor, and other medals of commendation, to Technician 4th Grade Weller in recognition of his contributions to the liberation of France.
For his service in the US Army, Ernie was also presented with the Good Conduct Medal, the American Defense Service Medal, the American Campaign Medal, the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with one Silver Service Star, the World War II Victory Medal, the Honorable Service Lapel Button, and the New York State Conspicuous Service Cross.
Ernie was one of 13,420 First U.S. Army Signalmen in 33 independent or unit-assigned organizations that were tasked with building the communication network for American military forces who were preparing for the invasion of Europe. Eighteen of those signal units went ashore at Normandy, and all 18 were volunteers.
During the invasion at Normandy, as the Allied forces moved inland, 48 percent of the men fighting alongside Ernie lost their lives, and 60 percent of their equipment was ruined, but their mission was successful.
Over the next several years, Ernie continued to serve in the Signal Corps. He battled snow, ice, and enemies to maintain communications between troops throughout Europe until the end of the war.
After the war, Ernie came home and built a life in Franklinville, NY, where Bub and I both grew up. He and his wife Gloria had 2 kids, William, and Bub's mom, Connie. I know Bub is so proud of his Grandpa Ernie and everything he did for our country, and I'm proud that my kids have Ernie as their Great Grandpa!
Thanks to Ernie and all the servicemen and women who have bravely sacrificed for others. I'm so happy that Ernie is getting the recognition he deserves!